Global Shapers: Shaping the Globe One Shaper at a Time

KarlamirandaIt took me three years to finally figure out that the Global Shaper Program was more about presenting an ENERGY than a patent or brilliant new idea! A playful video that wittingly connected the essential elements of growing organic food (my talent!) as the essential drivers for organic growth was my entry, a veeeery late night submittal into some Arcadian cyber portal. I had no expectation of selection because of my previous attempts, but was secretly hoping that I’d get the opportunity to experience all of this “Arcadis” I was apparently part of but had never yet felt. I went back to my job, my life, my cube and my garden. A month later, that energy came whizzing back through a daily email sent by our then Operations Leader, announcing my selection and her congratulations on behalf of our Remediation Team. I was on fire and so grateful! Despite a growing excitement, I had no idea the breadth, the growth, the exposure and experience to come…

Karla2 So too, was the airport on fire the morning 100 Shapers were supposed to land! #gsonfire Unexpectedly, Chicago International had a massive fire in its command center early that morning, delaying, if not cancelling, all incoming flights. The cyber traffic was insane as we consultants, project managers and logistic junkies took on getting each and every Shaper to Chicago safely. While waiting stand-by amongst the mayhem to catch the next available flight, a local news station interviewed me about the delays, I bumped into Neil McArthur (twice!) and had one the most enjoyable conversations with an eclectic and beyond interesting nanogenarian.  I was so full of excitement that I didn’t even remember to tell Neil my name when I shook his hand! The only words that nervously, and proudly, rushed out of my mouth were “Hi Neil, I’m a Global Shaper! It’s very nice to meet you.” And Chicago? Well, the energy there was palpable!…ask any 2014 Shaper. A well-organized Organizing Team helped produce the chance to perform in an energetic work environment compelled for brilliance, intellectual demand and challenging dynamics on all levels. Professional acumen was honed, sharpened and hand-crafted at every turn. Friends, meals, amazing conversations, early morning swing dance classes (thank you Harmen!) and all-hours-of-the-night work parties pushed the best to be even better. Groomed, mentored and challenged, we were able to put on an incredible presentation for the AGLF, one that inspired many of our senior leaders to support an incredible Arcadian future in 2015.

So what now? What is the post-Chicago result? Nothing I could have imagined! The program, the people in it and places inside of me that it grew professionally continue to make new, things and ideas and experiences as I continue to endeavor in my Arcadis World.  Yes, my participation in the program has had lasting effects, opening doors within the organization that have allowed me to engage more deeply than ever before. Yes, there are many wonderful, obvious benefits to the program about which to flout. Yes, multiple synergies to proffer and yes, even output that all of Arcadis can see. But what about its true utility? The weighted result of returning one hundred Shapers to their Arcadian lives? This has taken me some time to define.

karla3What I’ve realized is that Global Shapers, generation after generation, are literally changing the (Arcadis) world in which we live…and not just as the one-time collective we once were back in Chicago, but on an ongoing basis, a Shaper at a time…that is the application, that is the utility, that is the energetic result…not only imagined, but made real as each Shaper takes the energy, excitement and growth experienced during the program and nourishes all in which they participate after the program. Yes, the tour de force of Chicago wound down, but the 2014 Shaper does not stop!…Our pulse reverberates from Indonesia to Belgium to Britain, Dubai and Brazil…Chile to China to Czech Republic, Florida and France…California to Hong Kong to Puerto Rico, India and New York. It can be felt around the world, in every office where a Shaper shapes, intimating a global connection and a new intensity, a Shaper at a time.

Karla Miranda
Arcadis-US, Environmental, Remediation Northeast, Melville Office, New York

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